[Turning to go.
I have five names. They’ll do until to-morrow. God willing, they’ll bring Congress back to its senses. I thank my God that I found you buzzards out in time. I’ll fling your names across the Senate tonight—yours, Conroy, and yours, Grosvenor, and yours, Taney, and yours, Pollen, and yours, Maynard! By Heaven, the country shall hear them from end to end. And there’ll be less talk of war then! You and your kind are stirring up the millions to dream of war, to shout about defending our national honor—What honor is there in murder?—stirring their blood with the fifes and drums of your rhetoric! Through your newspapers, you are turning the thoughts of our children to war, our children who should be to us the symbol of a nobler, purer future rising out of the sordid wreckage of the present—you make them drunk with your cant about national glory—glory!—until their innocent faces glow feverishly up to you, hungry for battle. You will not rest until you hear the terrible savage cry from their lips—War, war! You shall not hear it if I can prevent it! I am going to the Senate now. In fifteen minutes your names shall be a byword and a hissing among the nations. The best you can do is to take your vile guns and turn them on yourselves!
[A great shout is heard outside. Then the fifes and drums again. The PAGE enters excitedly.
Message for Senator Taney.
[He takes the paper.
Gentlemen, listen to this from the Iberian Foreign Office to the Associated Press: “The King sent for the Ambassador of the Republic this afternoon and outlined a plan that would satisfy the royal government. The Ambassador regretted that he was unable to consider any compromise. The King replied that he could have nothing further to say in the matter.”
[GROSVENOR and the others jump to their feet with excited exclamations.
The thing’s not true. There’s a mistake somewhere. It doesn’t fit in with what went before.
Fit in? Who cares? It’s a challenge! They’ve insulted us!
They’ve challenged our national honor!
Now, by God, they can pay!
[Rushing to the telephone.
Give me the Department of State.
[There are more shouts outside and more bands. Suddenly the door, left, is burst open by a crowd of men, some in dress clothes, some in uniform, shouting “War!"